Other Voices – We’re being led by a blind man
“Don’t try to wash out blood with blood.”
– Japanese proverb
Some smart fellow said, “The winds of anger blow out the candle in the mind.” The candle is starting to flicker as I haven’t heard “God Bless America?” lately, the flags are becoming tattered and less visible, candle sales are down, and families of the victims are now squabbling over money.
The invisible leaders of al-Qaida are still invisible and have been moved to the back pages of the newspapers. The American public is now more upset over the stock market than the Twin Tower bombing.
Our overt leader tried to keep the hysteria alive by irritating three other “evil” countries, who probably had nothing to do with Sept. 11. Our student leader traveled around the world to undo stupid remarks made in some of his speeches. He often sounds like a former president who made the profound statement that the way to solve the unemployment problem was to put people back to work, and received a standing ovation.
Because I am one of the stupid 10 percent who questioned the policy of bombing Afghanistan, I now question the foresight of the 90 percent who supported it. It has been reported that the president’s staff presented a number of alternatives, but he found it politically advantageous to go to war.
Let’s evaluate this decision: We have been trying to capture or kill bin Laden and his leaders for 11 months at the cost of $30 million a day, millions of refugees have been driven into the freezing desert, and we don’t know how many have died from starvation, the cold or land mines. It has been reported by independent sources that there have been at least 4,000 casualties among innocent Afghan civilians. It is interesting that the religious community supported these atrocities.
The Taliban Government we supported prior to Sept. 11 is replaced with a more barbaric tribal group of war lords. We will have to keep armed forces intact for many years to change conditions for any length of time.
Millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money will be spent repairing the damage we have done, but luckily Haliburton can now run their pipeline through Afghanistan.
The alleged object of all this bombing and turmoil was to eliminate the terrorist leaders, and what has been accomplished is the capture and killing of a few privates in the Taliban forces. We have probably angered enough religious zealots in other Arab countries, who will look for a way to repay us.
John Walker, who must have been smarter than the CIA by infiltrating the Taliban, is our big trophy, replacing bin Ladin. I wonder if “Compassionate George” had on his thinking cap when he made his decision to level a small country to eliminate a few dangerous men.
The American public has been patting itself on the back with the waving of flags, singing “God Bless America,” and wearing lapel pins, but have made few sacrifices in fighting terrorism. We evidently don’t want to admit the root cause of our problems in the Middle East is our dependence on Arab oil. We are still driving at 75 mph in our gas-guzzling cars with one person in each car. High school and college parking lots are overflowing with cars of students who could be riding the bus or bicycles to school. The vice president’s secret committee of oil executives hasn’t come up with a mandatory energy policy of any consequence and won’t if the oil barons have anything to say about it. We aren?t going to solve our problems with the Arabs until we reach the point that we can pull our troops out of this area and tell them to drink their oil.
Now that the public has had its vengeance, the administration is talking about bombing Iraq. Luckily, they won’t be able to do this for a year as we used so many bombs and missiles in Afghanistan, it will take at least a year to replace them. Hopefully, in this time cooler heads will prevail.
This futile effort has given Bush a high approval rating. There are many things in life I don’t understand, but this is the most baffling.
Japanese proverb: “Don’t ask a blind man to lead the way.”
Donald Cooks is a resident of Nevada City.
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